TET may pay for athletics track repair

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 31/05/2012

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Extensive repairs to Inglewood's TET Stadium Mondo athletics track look likely to be paid for by the track's primary sponsor.

Yesterday, Taranaki Electricity Trust chairman Brian Jeffares said he expected the trust would sink a large chunk of its grant money into fixing up the track.

It was revealed on Tuesday that the track, laid 10 years ago, has bubbled and split because of a faulty drainage system and requires $600,000 worth of repair work.

Mr Jeffares said a meeting with New Plymouth District Council and other sources of funding was on the cards in the next two weeks.

TET originally put $600,000 towards the track when it was built, and while no decisions have been made, the trust could foot the repair bill, he said.

"It seems to be pointless to spend whatever it is so far that we've spent on it if it's not going to be any benefit to the community at all," Mr Jeffares said.

Mr Jeffares said the track was important to Inglewood.

"It's a facility we're proud of and I think Inglewood is proud of and maybe the whole of Taranaki is proud of and we don't want it going to wrack and ruin."

If the money comes in the form of a grant from TET, it may mean other needy people and projects – such as the numerous schools and community groups which typically receive grants each quarter – may miss out.

"It may mean that others hoping to get some assistance will get a lesser amount .. but we have to meet with what the demands are and the needs are," Mr Jeffares said.

Lyall Bunn, of the Taranaki Community Stadium Trust, was pleased to hear of TET's stance yesterday. "That's fantastic, great news," he said.

Mr Bunn on Tuesday revealed the state of the track to the wider public when he presented a submission to New Plymouth District Council seeking funding for repairs.

He said yesterday the council and TET had been "fully briefed" on the issue and had been aware of the problem as soon as it became apparent.

He pointed out that the stadium trust was not broke.

"We just don't have the $600,000 for repairs," he said.

Athletics Taranaki president and Taranaki Community Stadium Trust trustee Karen Gillum-Green said the Colgate Games would go ahead in January despite the problems and a temporary solution was possible.

"If it means getting out there and scrubbing and brushing the track, we'll do it."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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